Rules for Implementing Wireless Networks at NC State

[Issued by the Vice Provost for Information Technology and Associate Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Information Systems; approved by the University Information Technology Committee, December 13, 2002]


The use of data networking resources at NC State, including wireless, is governed by all of the following:

  • federal law
  • state law
  • university policies and procedures.

NC State’s Communication Technologies (ComTech), the university’s data network and Internet service provider, is responsible for NC State’s network infrastructure and all connections to it, including wireless. Therefore, ComTech has the authority to block wireless transmitters and other wireless devices from access to the university’s production data network, as well as to request termination of the use of any other device that:

  • Interferes with the security or operation of the official NC State wireless units or the campus network or
  • does not comply with standards approved by the University Information Technology Committee (see section II, below).

Related Policies

REG 08.00.02 – Computer Use Regulation

Contact Information

Communication Technologies Network Operations Center (NOC): 919.513-9675

I. Purpose

The following rules and guidelines for wireless access to the NC State data network have been implemented to preserve the security, utility, and flexibility of the campus data network infrastructure and computing systems. Most of today’s wireless network standards use Instrumentation, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) bands of radio frequencies (900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz), which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not regulate or restrict. Therefore, the university must manage these frequency bands to provide a reliable production wireless network.

II. Scope

A. This document applies to the implementation of all wireless networking at NC State.

B. For this document, wireless networks on the campus are divided into two categories:

  • NC State public wireless networks are designed, built, and maintained by ComTech for use by NC State students, faculty, and staff who have valid university computing accounts. The ComTech wireless network implementation is part of a campus-wide Nomad Computing Environment. The Nomad Computing Environment uses Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to provide ubiquitous and seamless mobile computing resources. The NC State wireless network infrastructure allows portable computing devices with wireless network interfaces to connect to the NC State network using IEEE 802.11-compliant technology at present. However, this may change as other technology options mature.
  • NC State private wireless networks are not funded, designed, built, and maintained by ComTech, but are installed and maintained by NC State colleges, departments, units, organizations, or authorized individuals. The devices must be registered and the installation approved.

III. Implementation of NC State public wireless networks

A. ComTech is responsible for obtaining the funding and designing, purchasing, installing, and managing the NC State public wireless network.

B. Priorities for installation will be determined by a cooperative effort between ComTech and any appropriate governance committee(s). Once the priorities have been set, the subcommittee must approve any changes to the priorities. ComTech will work with the organization to fulfill that need as quickly as possible if a campus organization needs to have public wireless networking installed ahead of schedule. Still, the department will be charged the full cost of the installation.

C. The NC State public wireless network may be used by NC State students, faculty, and staff who have a valid NC State Unity ID, password, and properly configured portable device. In addition, university guests may obtain access to the guest wireless network by accepting the Acceptable Use Policy.

D. Running remote services (e.g., Web server, FTP server, NFS server, any person-to-person file sharing service) is PROHIBITED on the NC State Nomad Computing Environment and public wireless networks. However, users of the Nomad Computing Environment and public wireless networks will connect to such services provided elsewhere.

E. All traffic to and from the Nomad Computing Environment is logged and associated with the user, as permitted by NC State Administrative Regulations, section II, G.

F. Users of the NC State public wireless network are requested to immediately report any problems they encounter with the public wireless network or the Nomad Computing Environment to the Network Operations Center (NOC) by phone (919.513.9675) or by email to In addition, the user should have the following information available for the consultant:

  • The physical location of where the problem was encountered
  • Vendor of the wireless networking card being used
  • Wireless networking configuration
  • IP configuration obtained

G. Wireless network users are responsible for the security of the data transmissions they send over the wireless network. They should, therefore, be strongly encouraged to use eduroam SSID or VPN when sensitive information traverses the wireless network; otherwise, they should move to the wired campus network.

IV. Implementation of private wireless networks in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands

If a building has been certified as having full wireless coverage, no department shall be permitted to install any wireless network that transmits in the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. Coverage details for all buildings can be found on our wireless coverage maps.

If a building does not have pervasive wireless coverage, a department may ONLY install a private wireless network with the approval of the ComTech Wireless Architect. This includes any special use cases for a building considered fully covered. In addition, the department must agree to follow the guidelines (regarding channel, power levels, and other settings in the wireless access point) provided by the Wireless Architect before installation.